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International Break: It's Gonna Be a Playoff!

Luka: Talisman of the Vatreni
Luka: Talisman of the Vatreni

We've hit that sad point of the schedule again, where we have a weekend sans-Tottenham football. The break comes at a poor time as well, as Spurs have been on an unbeaten run of eight games in the league, featuring seven wins. Spurs are on a run of form we haven't seen in... a long time. But Spurs players will be playing this International Break, so let's take a look at who will be going where.

  • England (Scott ParkerKyle Walker) vs. Spain and Sweden
  • Netherlands (Rafael van der Vaart)
  • Wales (Gareth Bale) vs. Norway
  • Brazil (Sandro) vs. Gabon and Egypt
  • Russia (Roman Pavluychenko) vs. Greece
  • Croatia (Luka ModricVedran Corluka) Euro 2012 Playoff vs. Turkey
  • Cameroon (Benoit Assou-Ekotto) vs. Sudan and Algeria
  • Mexico (Giovani Dos Santos) vs. Serbia
  • South Africa (Steven Pienaar) vs. Cote d'ivoire and Zimbabwe 
  • England U-21 (Tom Carroll, Adam Smith [on-loan with MK Dons])

Thoughts after the jump:

Most notably for Spurs is undoubtedly the Euro 2012 playoffs, where Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka have been called up for the two-legged tie against Turkey. Notably missing from the Croatian squad is Niko Kranjcar, who has been forced to miss the matches with injury. Expect Luka Modric to sit deep in midfield and distribute while Corluka starts at right back. Croatia will be in for a war against Turkey, so hope that Modric and Corluka come out unharmed against this tough-tackling Turkish side.

Most notably for Tottenham next are the call-ups for Kyle Walker and Scott Parker for England's friendlies against Spain and Sweden. Parker looks a likely starter in a great test against the world's best midfield in Spain. Kyle Walker's playing time is unknown, but Fabio Capello seems impressed by his form, calling him ahead of the likes of Micah Richards.

Gareth Bale continues with Gary Speed's resurgent Wales, facing Norway. Sandro got his Brazilian call-up started early, as he scored as Brazil beat Gabon 2-0. Steven Pienaar returns from injury to reassume the captaincy of the South African national team. Benoit Assou-Ekotto curiously returns to Cameroon from suspension whilst Sebastien Bassong was passed over. 

And perhaps nicest to see is some recognition for the Tottenham youth, as Tom Carroll has joined his loaned-out compatriot Adam Smith on the English U-21s. Let's hope more of the Spurs young professionals get recognized by the English youth national teams.